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Summary By Bob Ashby:
The Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association (OHSFCA) released their final poll of the current season on May 21st. The GMC placed three teams among the state top ten of the 188 largest schools (Division 1). Mason finished in the third slot, followed by Lakota West in sixth, and Lakota East at ninth. The GMC was the only conference to be represented by as many as three teams.

Lakota West will carry the GMC flag into the state final four. The Firebirds have already eliminated the states #1 team Lebanon in the regional finals, and the #3 Mason in the regional semi-final. Next in West’s sites will be the #2 team Perrysburg on Thursday, May 31. A win over Perrysburg would leave #8 Massillon Perry or #10 Teays Valley between them and the state championship.

The Firebirds have already played twenty-eight games this year including six games, roughly a quarter of their schedule, against teams in the final top 10. They have registered one win over #1 Lebanon, two wins out of three games with #3 Mason, and had a split with #9 Lakota East.

For head coach Keith Castner this will be the fourth team he has taken to the State final four with the previous trips coming in 2005, 2006, and 2011. His coaching staff also includes Rachael Shepherd who went to two final fours, 2005 and 2006, as a player and Lindsay Amend, a former West all GMC player who helped coach the 2011 team.